Photo Credit: Fanny Cooper (@arealgoldmouth) of frannyc.smugmug.com
For the 168th week of "7 QUESTION SUNDAY" we shine the spotlight on another influential individual from the PNW. Dean Cooper is a professional wrester trained by the Nightmare Factory.
4EVRGRN: Hey, DC! Tell us a little about yourselves.
DC: Hi, I am "The Ultimate Guy" Dean Cooper, Professional Wrestler since 2015. I was born and raised in NE Oregon. Moved to the greater Seattle area in 2011.
- What is the PNW wrestling scene like?
DC: The wrestling scene in the northwest is very similar to the rest of the country. There are small promotions, where guys are going out once or twice a month to do what they love to do (wrestle) in front of their family and friends and a handful of regulars in the crowd. There are some mid-sized promotions that pull from both the local, smaller promotions as well as national promotions to appeal to a loyal fan base. There are a couple of top tier promotions who have top level performers from both the local and national level and tend to have hundreds of fans at any given show... Then there are the big, national productions (WWE, AEW) that come through town on occasion, filling arenas and making dreams come true for some local talent. I have been lucky enough to perform in all four categories both locally and nationally, but nothing beats performing locally with all of my family and friends.
- Strangest thing you’ve been hit with or slammed through?
DC: Weapons are a big part of my in-ring performance. I am not a "hardcore" guy, but I have a lot of fun when foreign objects are involved. My opponents have put me through tables, and doors, and chairs, and ladders, you know, the usual wrestling stuff, but I've also been slammed into a pile of Legos and seashells. Steve Migs gave me a flipping piledriver (Canadian destroyer) after I sent him 8 ft in the air onto some steel chairs. Recently, Pitfall Jones and I jousted each other at a renaissance fair and he knocked me off the top rope with an oversized mallet. The strangest item I have ever been beaten with though, was a can of whipped cream. My opponent, Stan Styles, chopped me to oblivion with whipped cream covering my chest. Then he filled my mouth and gave me the "Stunner" finisher, with whipped cream exploding out of my mouth like a volcano eruption.
- Favorite thing to do when you’re not wrestling in the PNW?
DC: I have many hobbies and have a hard time sitting still in my real life. My career is in healthcare, where I have a bachelor's degree in radiologic sciences and a Master's degree in healthcare administration. Recently I married my best friend, who brought into my life two beautiful children. Any time I get to spend with them doing anything is what I live for. Woodworking and outdoor activities are among some of my favorite activities, but my favorite thing to do in the last couple years is play disc golf. There are actually a lot of local wrestlers who enjoy playing. We get out and spend a few hours chasing frisbees a couple of times a week. It's more fun than I imagined it could be.
- What makes wrestling in the PNW unique?
DC: Wrestling in the PNW is unique in many ways. First is all the incredible local talent. From Portland to Seattle and Spokane and up to Vancouver B.C., I believe we have some of the best talent in the country right here. Yes, there is great talent everywhere, but we have the highest concentration of incredible talent anywhere. So many guys can "play with the big boys" (old WCW reference) any time an opportunity comes along and look like they belong. Another is the fan base. I have never seen such loyal fans. They show up to have a blast and cheer/jeer for the local talent. The scene is more of a party atmosphere at most of the larger shows and a great family environment at the smaller shows. There is no way I would still be wrestling if it wasn't for the support of the local fans and the community involvement.
- What do you miss the most about the PNW when you’re on the road?
DC: When I am on the road, wrestling on the east coast or Midwest, I miss my family like crazy. I've never been into video chat, but that is the highlight of my day when I am out of the area. My wife and kids just want to hear about my adventure, and I just want to see their faces and hear their voices. Also, the scenery. There are some beautiful places in the country, but nothing compares to the mountains, trees, water features, and wildlife here at home. The aesthetics of driving or walking through the PNW is unparalleled anywhere. My morning commute frames Mt. Rainier perfectly and the sunset over the Olympics on my drive home is divine. Nothing compares.
- Favorite place to wrestle in the PNW?
DC: I am a little biased when it comes to my favorite place to wrestle in the PNW. A few friends and I started SOS Pro Wrestling (@sosprowrestling on all the socials, SOSProWrestling.com for ticket info) while the world was shut down for the last couple years. We started in my backyard, producing a low budget, wrestling program for YouTube. We were the first local promotion to go down this route and started to grow quite a following. When the world finally opened back up, SOS held its first live event in Fremont and nearly sold-out Hale's Palladium. The company has been on a roll ever since. I've had some of my favorite matches with the company, and my wife even surprised me with a marriage proposal after a match. Recently, we moved the live shows to Edison Square in Tacoma, and we are still going strong.
- Wildest wrestling in the PNW experience?
DC: I mentioned this a little bit earlier, but my wildest wrestling experience in the PNW was at the renaissance fair. You wouldn't have caught me dead at one of these things before this match. My preconceived idea was that there were going to be a bunch of cosplay nerds hitting each other with foam swords (which is kind of accurate), but little did I know that they would be the best crown I have ever performed in front of. We followed some equestrian performers and some fire dancers, and we were the very last match of the night. The crowd was loud and interactive for the entire show. Since they were so involved, Pitfall and I made our way out of the ring to fight as close to the crowd as we could. He hit me with some chain mail and a giant hammer, and we ended up jousting from 100 yards apart, knocking each other unconscious. We eventually made our way back to the ring where he delivered the iconic finishing move of Jimmy King, and Pitfall "crowned me" for the 1, 2, 3.
Keep up with Dean and follow all the action on Instagram: @the.dean.cooper @sosprowrestling